In case you thought the fallout from Jonathan Gruber’s awkward adventures in video-taped truth-telling was over, think again. Now there’s a new video out, but not of Gruber. Nope. This one is of President Barack Obama, and it shows Obama proudly stating that he has “stolen ideas” from Jonathan Gruber. Obama’s remarks were made in April of 2006 during a presentation for the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.
OBAMA: You have already drawn some of the brightest minds from academia and policy circles, many of them I have stolen ideas from liberally, people ranging from Robert Gordon to Austan Goolsbee; Jon Gruber; my dear friend, Jim Wallis here, who can talk, I think — who can inform what are sometimes dry policy debates with a prophetic voice.
It wasn’t just a passing remark. In fact, Gruber was a participant in the event. Obama spoke as part of the first panel of the event, but Gruber was scheduled to speak during the second panel. It seems likely that Gruber was in the audience and heard Obama’s remarks about him. Obama may well have mentioned him because he knew he would be in the crowd.
Gruber’s name came up several times during the Brookings event, but Obama was the first to mention him by name, according to a review of the transcript.
A full transcript of the president’s remarks at the event, which was moderated by future Obama OMB director Peter Orszag, can be found here.